I put up a post a couple of days ago called No grass in Oxford except in the gutters which explored a couple of paradoxes – the fact that Oxford’s planners want to concrete all the grass whilst the street people let grass grow through the concrete; the zeal with Oxford City Council pursues you for putting the rubbish out on the wrong day or in the wrong receptacle contrasted with the lack of any enthusiasm for weeding the streets; and the city’s new motto about pride in our city compared with the reality of the run-down streets.
I illustrated the post with a photograph of a gutter whose knee-high weeds had been untouched for over a year. Within two days, the gutter is immaculate – not the whole street, just the 30 foot section I illustrated.
Maybe someone read the article and decided that the gutter should be cleared before someone started organising charabanc trips to see it. Perhaps it is coincidence – this just happened to be the day when Kevin Penpusher consulted the sacred clip-board and announced in his adenoidal whine that the auguries were just right for this particular stretch of gutter to be cleaned.
I fear that what has actually happened is that a resident became so pissed off with the neglect that he or she just got on with it. I picture someone wading through the jungle on coming back from posting this month’s Council Tax payment, and deciding that the time spent trying yet again to persuade Oxford City Council to do its duty might be better spent just getting on with it.
I wonder how far this private enterprise will go. We already have to drive our own rubbish to the tip. Now we weed our own gutters. Anyone any good at unblocking drains? How about a vigilante group to police the streets? If you have a C or better at GCSE maths you could do the city’s accounts without losing £4 million on a single project. I’d like to be a highways officer – all you need is a brain and no experience whatsoever of the standard local authority approach to transport.
Just in case Oxford City Council were in fact fire-fighting the problem because it was illustrated last time, here is the stretch across the road.
I will keep publishing them until it has all been weeded.